Morse Code Day

Happy — — .-. … .   -.-. — -.. .   -.. .- -.– . 

Not an amateur radio operator, pilot, sailor, or ancient boy scout?  Allow me to translate: Happy Morse Code Day!

After Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail invented the telegraph in 1836, they needed a code to communicate.  In 1844, the telegraph using Morse Code was put to work, and served as the main communication code for 160 years.  It would also inspire later codes such as Baudot Code and ASCII.  TDC also theorizes Morse Code inspired the first video game, Pong.  (Really it’s just a theory.  Please don’t add it to Wikipedia as fact.)  Though it has little official use today, its 160 year run is longer than any other electronic code’s.  Ever. 

Morse Code is one of those skills, like swimming or knot-tying, that just might come in handy one day.  Using a mirror, light, tapping noise, or even one’s eye lids, a person can communicate to others in the most difficult of circumstances.  Of course, what are the odds the person receiving the message also knows Morse Code?  Exactly!  So why not study up on this bit of history?

And it is a key part of history.  Morse Code was used in the Civil War, on board the sinking Titanic, to navigate the first transatlantic flight, to place bets with the Chicago crime syndicate, and to organize efforts of the French Resistance.  Of course, the Internet is full of sites about Morse Code.  For example, Learn Morse Code boasts anyone can learn in one minute!

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